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41 weeks pregnant and completely over it.

Jacqui Walker

I’m 41 weeks pregnant with my first bub. I feel like a hippopotamus and I have elephantitis of the ankles. My back is so sore I feel like a brickie on the verge of retirement. Every time I eat, the food makes its way about an inch down my throat and then rapidly works its way back up as acid to give me twice the love at mealtimes.

At my next appointment at the John Hunter, I ask the midwife: “What will it take to get this baby out? Do I need to feign exceedingly low blood pressure or make up some other serious ailment?” Unimpressed, the midwife says the baby will arrive when it is good and ready. But what about me? I’M READY NOW. So I waddle back out of the hospital with baby in tow squashing all of my internal organs and relocating my stomach somewhere up near my boobs.

“How about a jumping castle?” suggests one girlfriend.

“Hot sex. Hot curry,” another offers earnestly. Yes, excellent, because I feel so incredibly sexy right now. I am 21 kilos above my normal weight. I haven’t seen my genitals in so long I have forgotten where they are. Let’s add to that the possibility of loose bowels from spicy food, throw some Barry White in the background and boom! As the Flight of the Concords would say, it’s “business time”. My poor fiancé.

Jacqui Walker

“Jog up Garden Grove Parade,” another friend chimes in.

Have you ever tried running up a steep incline with a bowling ball strapped to your stomach and swollen extremities? You see the dilemma, dames. It is one of those things you don’t think about during the pregnancy journey. With all the scans and excitement, the baby shower, the gushing relatives, the gifts, setting up the nursery and preparing for your first born, you proudly declare your due date to the world like a badge of honour, a line drawn in the sand after which time your life will be changed forever – the new family chapter begins.

And then suddenly you reach 40 weeks and your baby is curled up so tightly and quietly in your womb that you can hardly imagine yourself un-pregnant. The baby is completely unaware that everyone is WAITING for her. On the day it hits 40 weeks, you rearrange the nursery for the fourth time and clean out the pantry again. You do another load of washing, check and repack your hospital bag and press repeat. You sit down to drink your umpteenth cup of tea as you have ceased to worry about caffeine consumption. If baby wants to get comfy in there, she can have some caffeine on tap. You wait for the inevitable contractions that are surely just around the corner.

Your Mum rings. Again. “How are you feeling darling? No pains yet?” You assure your Mum that you will call when labour begins as you’ve heard it is pretty hard to miss and there is absolutely no movement at the station – same as yesterday.

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Jacqui Walker

Your mate texts from London. “We’re all sitting at the pub in Notting Hill, wondering when this baby is going to arrive? It must be comfy. Keep us posted!” Now not only are you annoyed that your baby is stuck inside of you, you are completely jealous that you are not sitting in an English pub. Not only would you not fit on the commercial plane, you can’t drink beer – double whammy.

Yes, baby is super comfortable but its mother most certainly is not. In the last eight weeks, Mum has developed carpal tunnel

syndrome, a bad case of reflux, new patches of cellulite in places it has never visited before and a throbbing hip flexer to boot. The texts and calls continue to trickle in and slowly you creep well over the due date with a growing sense of disappointment like you have failed a test. You check your underwear every five minutes to see if your waters have broken (again, not something you are likely to miss I’m afraid).

You begin to talk to your baby.

“Sweetheart, it’s time to come out now. It definitely feels like your birthday today.”

Nothing. A few kicks but no verbal response from baby. Strange, you asked her politely.

You take the dog to the beach to keep your mind off things but return home after fifteen minutes because your baby’s head is pushing so hard on your bladder, trips longer than fifteen minutes require a catheter and a colostomy bag.

But in the end, despite all of this – the curiosity to meet your little one keeps you excited and you feel a strong desire for everything to

Jacqui with her new baby girl

turn out OK.

And for me, despite fourteen hours of excruciating labour at almost 42 weeks, it did turn out OK. Five months on I can truly say this – those last few weeks were agony (well, not really agony – labour was agony) but the moment you see and hold your baby for the first time in hospital is without a doubt the most special, heartwarming and amazing feeling you will ever experience. It was absolutely worth the wait.

So pregnant Mums, when you’re overdue, you feel like a beached whale and you’ve had less sleep than a teenage raver, just remember this – bub is on its way and she’ll come when she’s good and ready.

This piece was first published on The Hunter Woman and has been republished with permission.

Jacqui Walker is a Newcastle-based lawyer, writer and wannabe performer who lives with her gorgeous fiance, adorable baby girl and anxious border collie. Having worked as a prosecutor and Legal Aid defence lawyer in Sydney, Jacqui now combines a private practice legal career with freelance writing on a diverse range of topics including law, weddings, property and interior design, pregnancy and motherhood. Jacqui loves travel, books, singing, musical theatre, shoes, HBO, French pharmacies and inspiring women and is fascinated by the habits of successful and happy people.  Connect with Jacqui on Twitter here.

Ever tried hot curry, a jumping castle or sex to get a baby out? Have you got any tips for how to make the baby come? How do you deal with a post-term pregnancy?

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